Got Your Back

A blog on kids and their siblings

I’ve got four kids, all responsible adults now. All close in age (we had four under the age
of five in the beginning), I’m fortunate to have the knowledge that they remain friends,
are loyal to one another, and have awesome spouses – three of them, anyway. One is
still unattached but happy.

My oldest son was married in Ireland in June. His (now) wife is from Dublin, and wanted a true Irish wedding. It took over two years to rearrange the wedding plans, with several reschedules due to the pandemic. But they stuck it out, and the wedding was fairytale gorgeous, difficult to describe. All of our kids were there; the only groomsmen were his two brothers. Son number two was the best man, and he lit up the room with his brief but brilliant speech when it was his turn. Dressed in his Air Force formal attire (ironically called “mess” attire), he began by explaining to the crowd of about 150 that no, he looks like but isn’t a bellhop, and he won’t deliver your luggage to your room. He ended by saying to his older brother, on behalf of the three of them, “Thank you for your service.” Dry sense of humor that went over well with both the Irish and the Americans in attendance. It was quite special to witness the four of them plus their spouses talk openly about their upbringing and bond – I’d never predict that during those years of rivalry and typical sibling animosity.

Tons of memories do flood back to me as I have a bit more time to reflect, and for whatever reason, I finally get to reflect on the absurdity of some of it. Such as the time when my twins (boy/girl) were in fourth grade. They are now 30, a frightening statistic, but filled with great memories. It was after a Christmas concert, my son having an adorable solo. Only afterwards, it was ruined by Mrs. Williams, their fourth grade teacher who pretty much accosted me after the performance, asking why I hadn’t been in touch with her. Perplexed, no idea what she was referring to, I was informed that my son got a big fat
zero on his spelling quiz, (which happened every Friday). Turns out, my daughter the twin forged my signature on the ZERO to cover for him. I never knew about it, and I have to admit, her forgery of my signature was damned good. Nonetheless, I was so mad at both of them that I forbade them to join their friends at Friendly’s for the after-concert gathering, and we went home to a silent house.

The next morning, despite my reprimand from Mrs. Williams the night before, the forgery was forgiven, the twins missed out on their group ice cream outing, and I laughed to myself about their ingenuity.

Such are the precious stories. There certainly are plenty about all of them, but my favorites are the ones that illustrate their love and loyalty. And now that we are grandparents, it is with much joy that we are able to look back with nothing but pride…and respect for who they each have become.

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